Established: By charter of the predecessor Organization of African Unity (OAU) adopted May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (AEC)—the Abuja Treaty—adopted June 3, 1991, by the OAU heads of state and government in Abuja, Nigeria, and entered into force May 12, 1994; Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) adopted July 11, 2001, by the OAU heads of state and government in Lomé, Togo, and entered into force May 26, 2001. (The OAU remained in existence during a one-year transitional period ending July 8, 2002; the Abuja Treaty remains a cornerstone of the AU.)

Purpose: To “achieve greater unity and solidarity” among African states; to “accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent”; to “promote and defend African ...

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